Getting Your Degree in Second Life

Texas State Technical College (TSTC) announced that it believes it is the first institution of higher education to develop a complete online certificate or degree in a virtual world. Is this where online education is headed?

This fall TSTC will be offering a Digital Media certificate which focuses on virtual world technology and they will be using Second Life as the primary way to deliver the course content. They plan for this certificate program to lead into an associate degree (AAS) in Digital Media starting in spring 2009.

During my flyover of the TSTC virtual campus
It's all new enough that when I went to the program website yesterday most of the links were not active. But, I was able to teleport to their virtual campus in Second Life and take a look around. It was very quiet and I didn't find any other visitors. I picked up a free t-shirt and visited a few buildings, and, of course, did a flyover.

"The 3D environment, which makes the virtual world so real you can almost reach out and touch it, offers students the opportunity to participate in an online learning community, and fully immerses the learner in a stimulating online experience," said Chris Gibson, their associate VP of educational technology.

The program will include courses in computer applications, professional development, basic graphic design, digital imaging, digital publishing, computer illustration, and photography.

The Texas State Technical College System consists of four technical colleges with 13,000 students.

If you want to take a bit of a tour of their campus without having to use Second Life, you can look at their YouTube video tour.


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